The twelve television episodes of the anime aired in Japan between July 3, 2007 and September 27, 2007 on TV Kanagawa. On July 4, 2007 Chiba TV and TV Aichi also began to air the show with TV Saitama, TV Osaka and AT-X respectively picking it up a day after each other. The series has since been released in six limited and regular edition DVD volumes. Each volume contains one disc with two episodes NTSC formatted in full-color with Digital Theater System audio with each limited edition volume coming bundled with a numeric respective six track radio disc titled Radio School Days Shucchōban, Hoshū. The School Days anime adaptations contain fifty-six music tracks, fourteen of which are vocal themes by various artists. The remaining forty-two are background music tracks arranged by Kaoru Okubo.
Two OVA episodes were also produced and released. On March 28, 2008, a month after the final TV series DVD had been released, TNK released "Magical Heart Kokoro-chan" (マジカルハート☆こころちゃん, Majikaru Hāto☆Kokoro-chan?), a magical girl parody spin-off, in both limited and regular editions; the former bundled with a six track radio disc. The other title "Valentine Days" (バレンタイン デイズ, Barentain Deizu?) was a DVD exclusively bundled with the limited edition School Days L×H PlayStation 2 port, released with the game on January 17, 2008.
Makoto Itou is a young Japanese highschool student who goes to Sakakino Academy and just starting the second semester. He rides the train to and from school and one day, he becomes infatuated with Kotonoha Katsura, a girl who also catches the train and a fellow student from school. Makoto also became acquaintances with Sekai Saionji, who discovered his secret crush on Kotonoha and helped him by introducing him to her. As time passed, Makoto and Kotonoha grew closer and started dating.
The following afternoon, Sekai finds Makoto waiting for Kotonoha to rendezvous for a date on a nearby train station in front of the school on her way home. She sat with him and he talked about how much he appreciated Sekai's help as he feels heavily indebted so he offers her repayments to show his appreciation. Although, Sekai believes he is overreacting, she stole a kiss from him as her train pulls in, rushing into an open passenger car and happily wishing him luck on his date with Kotonoha.
Makoto's first date with Kotonoha ended up pretty badly as he tried to kiss her. When Sekai found out, she advised and gave him two movie tickets to take Kotonoha out again. Things went badly again during the movie and Sekai insists that Makoto is going too fast with his relationship with Kotonoha and tells him to apologise. Kotonoha decided to avoid Makoto, however Sekai convinced her that his intentions are good. After that, Kotonoha goes over to Makoto and finally kisses him while Sekai watched from a distance. The following day, Kotonoha invited Makoto over to her home to meet her younger sister, Kokoro. He spent the day playing with Kokoro and Kotonoha got the courage to ask Makoto to call each other with their first name. When Makoto got back home, he called Sekai to tell her that dating Kotonoha is tiring.
The following afternoon, Makoto and Kotonoha were making out on the school's rooftop but she stopped him after he tried to grope her breasts. Makoto called Sekai for advice that night and she informed him that he was still moving too fast into the relationship. Makoto admitted that he wants his relationship with Kotonoha to become sexual. Sekai, then offered to teach him about intimacy, which includes allowing him to fondle and strip her on the rooftop. Later, on the way home, Makoto runs into Kotonoha who invited him to go swimming. Makoto and Kotonoha went to the pool along with their friends, Sekai, Setsuna, Hikari and Taisuke. Kotonoha started to show more affection towards Makoto but his mood does not improve. While leaving the pool, Sekai pulls Makoto aside to tell him they are no longer friends. Thinking about Sekai's words carefully, Makoto rushed back to see her. They met at the train station and ultimately reciprocates Makoto's feelings. Later that night, they had sex on Sekai's apartment.
Makoto and Sekai began to see each other but Sekai, feeling remorse, urges Makoto to reveal their relationship to Kotonoha. Kotonoha caught a sight of Makoto and Sekai kissing on a train but decided to leave it as her imagination. With the preparations for the school festival taking up her free time, Kotonoha messages Makoto and tells him that they can't have their usual lunch break. However, Kotonoha unexpectedly got out early and rushed to see Makoto at the rooftop but stopped as she hears Sekai confessing her love to him.
One of their friends called Setsuna is not convinced that Sekai and Makoto are in a relationship and tries to keep Kotonoha away from Makoto, this includes blocking her number on his phone. Makoto then, questioned his efforts which got Sekai to think that he was falling back in love with Kotonoha, which worsened when Kotonoha visited Makoto on his apartment. Makoto unblocks her number and made an empty promise to dance with her after the festival. Feeling betrayed, Sekai ran away from his apartment. Sekai was also absent in class and Setsuna kept Makoto away from Kotonoha after class and convinced him to see Sekai. Despite Sekai's concerns, Makoto assured her that he prefers her over Kotonoha. During the festival, Makoto and Setsuna are busy working together, when she revealed that she will be moving to France soon and then kisses Makoto while he was sleeping, not knowing Kotonoha saw them.
The festival continues the nest day and Taisuke went to get more supplies and finds Kotonoha. After he suggested that she was no longer with Makoto, she firmly denied it. Makoto went on a break from working and Otome approached him to ask who he is going with to the festival. Sekai breaks then up, but Makoto checked his phone and sees at least 20 messages from Kotonoha. He rushed to see her but Otome caught him and dragged him to a break room where they had sex. During the bonfire, Makoto danced with Sekai while Taisuke raped Kotonoha, convinced what he was doing was right since she was no longer Makoto's girlfriend. After being raped, she sees Sekai and Makoto dancing and broke down crying.
The following morning, Setsuna was unconvinced that Makoto had broken up with Kotonoha and told him to. By evening, Makoto went missing and Setsuna found him having sex with Otome again. That night, Setsuna visited his apartment and demanded that he ends his relationship with everyone, excluding Sekai and offered him to do whatever he wants with her. The next afternoon, the girls' basketball team showed their recording of their sexual intercourse in the break room, Sekai found out how Makoto cheated on her with Otome. Devastated, Sekai started to skip school and Hikari had started sleeping with Makoto as well. The following night, Sekai felt nauseous and started throwing up. She had also missed her period, concluding she was pregnant. She decided to tell Makoto during school but Makoto refused to take responsibility. As a result, she screamed at him and the news spread quickly. This turned out to be disastrous for Makoto as all the girls he had been sleeping with cut contact with him, being afraid they might be pregnant as well.
Sekai wanted to keep their child and share her life with Makoto, she also comes by to his apartment to cook for him. Makoto went out for a walk, frustrated that nobody would accept his call and he had lost all his sexual partners. He happens upon Kotonoha, who was thoroughly broken from being abandoned by Makoto and raped by Taisuke. Makoto broke down and held her as he cried, feeling the need to take responsibility and apologise for how he treated her. Makoto took Kotonoha out to dinner but Sekai called him to ask his whereabouts. Makoto angrily snapped at her, accused her of getting pregnant and demanded she leave his apartment, which she ended up doing after trashing it with the food she made. On her way out, she sees Makoto and Kotonoha together on the train, prompting her to return. Makoto tells Sekai that he loves Kotonoha and kissed her in front of Sekai, who started screaming and left. When Kotonoha leaves Makoto's apartment, he emails Sekai telling her about an abortion clinic Kotonoha suggested.
The following day, Sekai arranged to talk to Makoto in his apartment. He offers to make her tea, but she insists on doing it herself. While in the kitchen, Sekai emails Makoto to apologise and say goodbye. When Makoto goes to his room to get his phone Sekai approaches him from behind and brutally stabs him to death with a kitchen knife, unable to accept him trying to be happy with Kotonoha. Kotonoha later arrives at Makoto's apartment, finding his lifeless body in his room. Using Makoto's phone, she sends an email to Sekai to meet him at the rooftop. Confused, Sekai finds Kotonoha there and Kotonoha accuses Sekai of lying about being pregnant in order to tie down Makoto. When Sekai states that she wanted to be Makoto's girlfriend too, Kotonoha tells her to ask him, and directs her to a bag nearby. Sekai stares in horror when she finds Makoto's severed head, then Kotonoha decides to find out the truth about Sekai's pregnancy. She cuts Sekai's abdomen open to confirm that she is not pregnant, killing her in the process. Early that morning, Kotonoha was seen cuddling Makoto's head on a sailboat and whispering that they can finally be alone together.
The ending for the anime themes has a series of cell phone pictures of the girls that Makoto meets. This fits with the theme initiated, of someone falling in love with you if nobody discovers you have their picture on your cell phone for three weeks.
Comparison to the Visual Novel
The anime contains many elements from the visual novel initially but later starts to branch off from all the possible routes in the novel and ultimately to it's unique ending.
Episode 1 - Confession
This episode is more or less identical to it's visual novel counterpart, with minor differences and arbitrary detail added.
Episode 2 - The Distance Between the Two of Them
is most similar to a similarly named visual novel episode. The main difference is Makoto and Kotonoha's date is shown and ends badly, rather than ending good. Regardless Sekai gives Makoto movie tickets and things go bad during the movie and the train ride back. Both the anime and visual novel episode, apart from minor differences end the same way with Kotonoha going over to Makoto and kissing him while Sekai watches from a distance
Episode 3 - Crossing Thoughts
Apart from Makoto coming over to Kotonoha's place to play with Kokoro and them agreeing to address each other by their first names there's no counterpart to this episode. Also these scenarios are impossible in the novel after the previous episode, rather for Makoto to come over to Kotonoha's to play with Kokoro, the route through True Feelings has to be taken.
Episode 4 - Purity
Although the details differ Makoto tries to make more sexual advances on Kotonoha and then turns to Sekai for advice. Sekai allows Makoto to train on her by allowing him to fondle and strip her. Later Kotonoha invites Makoto to a pool. This initially follows the episode first experience from the novel but Sekai and Makoto don't go all the way on their training.
Episode 5 - Ripple
While the pool event exists in the novel it always happens after the school festival, not before like in the anime. Another huge difference is Makoto starts sleeping with Sekai by telling him he loves her, instead of simply training.
The entire episode has almost virtually no counterparts to the visual novel.
Episode 8 - School Festival
Again nothing in this episode resembles the visual novel at all, including the kiss Setsuna gives Makoto while he's sleeping.
Episode 9 - After Evening Festival
Taisuke running into Kotonoha is present in the visual novel and Otome seeing the festival with Makoto and then later inviting him to a break room exist. But in the visual novel Makoto never accepts her and either goes back to Kotonoha or Sekai. While Kotonoha getting raped by Taisuke is possible, it doesn't happen while Makoto's seeing the festival with Otome, since Otome arranges the rape.
Episode 10 - Mind and Body
Since Makoto can't have sex with Otome in the visual novel most of this episode doesn't happen, but the video screening hosted by the girl's basketball team exists, albeit it shows Makoto having sex with Kotonoha rather than Otome, something obviously can't happen with Taisuke raping Kotonoha. The effect is still the same though, Sekai finds out Makoto's been unfaithful. Another thing to note is when Kotonoha gets raped by Taisuke, she starts to date him, having given up on Makoto. Also, when Makoto's having sex with Kotonoha he misses the bonfire, while in the anime he makes it.
This essentially combines the outcomes from the school festival Makoto dancing with Sekai while Kotonoha's raped, Makoto cheating on Sekai and the video is shown to Sekai, and then adding many other details such as Makoto sleeping with Setsuna at his apartment the anime barely resembles the visual novel anymore
Episode 11 - Everyone's Makoto
Although the previous episode had some major events that happens in the visual novel the repercussions are different, for example when Kotonoha gets raped she starts dating Taisuke instead of still being hung up on Makoto. Also when Sekai finds out he's been cheating he breaks up with her. Also in both cases Setsuna doesn't go to Paris.
Episode 12 - School Days
While the ending is entirely original in its setting, conclusion and consequences, it can be seen as a combination of two bad endings from the original game: To My Children and Bloody End. A pregnant Sekai, being pushed over the edge by Makoto refusing to take responsibility, kills him and later is confronted by Kotonoha who uses a saw to cut her throat. The main differences are that Sekai chooses to kill Makoto a few days later instead of waiting 6 months. Also Sekai gets killed by Kotonoha in the school rooftop at night without any witnesses instead of the train station in the morning in front of everyone. It's also discovered that, unlike the original game where you can clearly see Sekai is pregnant, here Kotonoha states that Sekai (possibly) faked the whole thing. Kotonoha's ability to determine 1st trimester pregnancies on a rooftop at night is unknown. At the end Kotonoha is seen on a boat hugging Makoto's head.